Going public is not for the faint of heart, but when asked by moderator Stephen Gandel of Fortune about the decision to take OnDeck public in 2014, COO James Hobson was firm:
“We really felt that somebody needed to take a leadership position … and put everything [they’re] doing out there,” he said.“From that perspective, [going public] has been a great success.”
There were benefits to going public for OnDeck that went beyond just a sense of being a pioneer in the public markets for the online lending category. On stage at CB Insights’ Future of Fintech Conference, Hobson touted the more robust level of security that they had to adopt and how that benefitted them when they partnered with Chase.
“It was a great part of our evolution.”
But going public wasn’t all roses for Hobson and company, he admitted: “It comes with its challenges.” He shifted to a more cautionary tone when discussing other companies and whether going public is the right idea for everyone.
“I think it’s a discussion … I don’t think you should just assume ‘Oh, we’re gonna go public.’ It requires a lot of work … a lot of effort … a lot of investment. But if you discuss that, it can absolutely be a great path for a lot of companies to take.”